Last week I quoted Gandi and the need to “Be the change.” I then proceeded to map out some of the voices in disability world that have been heard and are making themselves heard now. A friend brought to my attention the fact that the phrase is be the change as opposed to make the change or fight for the change.
To be sure, the examples I gave are important and there is a need to make some noise. Action has value.
And sometimes so does just being…being who you are.
There’s a young man who is non-verbal and has a developmental disability who attends my church. Sometimes I see him out in the community with people who don’t know me.
I could easily walk by him without offending. Even though I have a child who is non-verbal, I understand how it may feel awkward to talk to someone who doesn’t respond with words. I feel that way too sometimes. What do you say? What do you do with an unanswered question? Does any of it make a difference?
To that last question I give a resounding Yes. Don’t we all want to be noticed, to be seen, to matter?
A simple hello can do that.
So, I said hello to this young man, asked him how his day was going, introduced myself to his caregivers, told him I’d see him sunday. I even felt comfortable doing that.
It wasn’t much. It was just me being myself, or rather who I’ve become since having Aidan. It’s exactly how I’d want others to treat my son.